The Untold Truth About Trauma

The Untold Truth About Trauma


Trauma is terrible. It feels terrible and robs you of your energy, lifeforce and positive future.
Arguably, narcissistic abuse is one of the most severely compounding traumatic events that anyone can go through. Such traumas are not something you can just snap your fingers and get over. Toxic abuse trauma is deep, hideous and insidious. Contemporarily, many people live on with the trauma of narcissistic abuse for most, if not all, of their lives.

Does it have to be this way?

It doesn’t, especially when you understand the truth about trauma.


Trauma Is An Inner Experience

The following statement changes everything you used to think about trauma –

Trauma is not what happened to you. It’s your INNER experience as a result of what happened to you.

The vital point about this is the words “inner experience.”

What does this mean?

It means that trauma is inside of you and causing the breakdowns in your life from inside of you. For many years, as an advocate for Thriving after narcissistic abuse, I discovered that trauma needed to be addressed inside of ourselves for healing to be effective.

That allows you to go completely free from trauma, level up beyond it and be even more empowered, clear, safe and expanded than even before it happened to you.

I have seen the most horrific of traumas overcome, and Thriving forthcoming, with thousands of people, as well as my own significant trauma experience.

Let me explain why!


Trauma Being An Outer Focus

The usual model of supposed trauma recovery is a focus on the outer experience. Who did it to me, when it happened, and why do they behave this way I am trying to learn all about and protect myself from people like this doing it to me again.

Sadly, we have been programmed into thinking about trauma in this way. Learning all about other people’s inner experiences and outer behaviour doesn’t grant healing to your inner experience and ability to be outwardly powerful, whole and safe. Information is not transformation.

This would be like being hit by a car, and the person next to you leaves you bleeding on the road and runs after the hit-and-run driver to try to hold them accountable. Clearly, you need attention, you need to recover, get well and be strong again to continue your life. There is no way they would abandon you and leave you to escalate into greater sickness by denying you the medical attention you desperately need.

Emotional wounds are no different. Just because you can’t “see” them doesn’t mean they aren’t deadly, or when left unattended, don’t get progressively worse.


The Outside Can Never Heal You

The faux-healing culture keeps us disconnected from our inner beings, trying to change everyone outside of ourselves to try to get better.  If you need accountability or justice to feel whole, you could be waiting your entire life traumatised and still not get that result. How can a damaged, unconscious, toxic person heal themselves enough to become conscious, responsible and remorseful in order to give you what you want to heal you?

It is impossible to force someone to be accountable or be held responsible for what they did to you. Even if they did, you still have to heal your inner being, because it is YOUR inner being, they can’t do that for you. Any relief from justice is short-lived because the trauma is still wedged inside of you like a toxic cancer eating you alive because that is what trauma does. It doesn’t magically disappear even when someone is held accountable or apologises. I promise you I have seen the evidence first-hand in this community. On the rare occasions that justice happens. I have clients and students doing their inner recovery work even when the narcissist is put behind bars. That “outer event” did NOT heal them!

Wouldn’t it be much more empowering to heal yourself from the inside and move on in your uplevelled Thriving Life regardless of whether this person comes clean and does the right thing or pays for what they did?

Of course, it would be! An attachment to the outer will never give you that.

Rather, it allows what this person did to continue destroying you for the rest of your life, whereas your own resurrection and liberty from trauma, from the inside, means that you and your life win, independent of what happens to this person.



Why Attention To The Inner Experience Is The Only Way To Heal Trauma

Many people are shocked that research, talking and cognitive therapy is not helping them recover from trauma.

The following is an example of exactly why.

Say the words “I think traumatised.”

Now say the words “I feel traumatised”.

Which statement lands as “real”?

Obviously, it is the second one because trauma is not logical, it’s emotional. It lives inside of your emotional, limbic, somatic (feeling) self.

The trauma shows itself to you with feelings of anger, shame, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, depression, anxiety and every other negative emotion. Then your head tries to “think” your way out of these inner states with obsession, rumination, excessive talking about or researching, and trying to get emotional relief.

If you don’t know how to turn inwards to release this trauma from your inner experience, then the trauma may escalate to attack your physical body with the manifestation of accidents, body parts breaking down, health conditions arising and even serious dis-ease.

These are all the products of trapped internal trauma. “Dis-ease” is the operative word.

Then you may turn to self-mediation to try to stop the emotional and physical pain. With addictive pastimes or choices to try to numb out. Yet these only escalate trauma because your inner being was never healed, and now other serious issues are piled on top, leading to an even greater disconnection from yourself and your ability to be whole, empowered and healthy.

The problem is you have been programmed to believe that inner attention means having to remember and think all about your childhood, and later traumas, reliving them to try to work out how the trauma got there. Naturally, you think your life may be on hold, with painful, lengthy and expensive sessions of regurgitation.

This is not true – that is the old and obsolete way to heal.

Let’s go back to the statement that changes everything about your understanding of trauma –

Trauma is not what happened to you. It’s your INNER experience as a result of what happened to you.

It’s your feelings. It’s the dense, painful energy that your body is holding, generating the present triggers that are arising. You can’t defeat what you don’t define. The definition of your trauma is NOT the event; it is the FEELING in your body.

You can’t heal what you are not prepared to turn inwards to feel, and then release. There are powerful and easy ways to do this to free yourself from trauma in a fraction of the time of the old ways of trying to deal with it. Without having to think about it, at all! Additionally releasing trauma does not have to be banging cushions, screaming or some other drastic dramatic event.



I hope today’s article is starting to make sense to you.

More than this, I am passionate about everyone learning the truth about trauma and having the ability to live free from it.

Please join me in my FREE 100-minute Masterclass, where I deeply explain the truth about trauma in even greater detail and take you through a soothing, supportive Quanta Freedom Healing session to find and release trauma, in record time, without needing any memory recall or logical dissection whatsoever.

You will feel immediate relief and benefits, by signing up here

As always, I look forward to answering your comments and questions below.



frustrated woman dialing phone

How To Manage Your Relationship With Your Toxic Ec

frustrated woman dialing phone


As a mediator with Castle Rock Mediation, I have learned that no two divorces are the same, and anyone who tries to place glib, cliché formulas on why people get divorced simply are naïve or arrogant.  They don’t know what they don’t know.

Some couples come to see me, and they are laughing and joking and going out to get drinks after they sign the paperwork.  Others need to be placed into separate rooms either physically or virtually so as to even be able to make good decisions without being triggered. Other couples simply can’t get anything accomplished without the assistance of attorneys and that’s ok too.  We all have different journeys in life.  “Different, not wrong” as I sometimes like to say.

Unfortunately for me, my divorce fell into the last category; it was as toxic and horrifying as any divorce I have ever witnessed.  My divorce attorney used to tell me jokingly that my file was the largest one she had in her office.  Thankfully (not really, I guess) she has gone on to other high-conflict couples and my file is no longer the title holder of the “largest file” that it once used to be.

My divorce was so toxic mostly because it was being driven by my husband’s limerence with his affair partner and the affair partner herself.  He told my ten-year-old daughter on her first Thanksgiving with him (before we were separated and not yet divorced) that he was going to marry his affair partner.  She returned home to me stressed and depressed and unable to process this inappropriate information. I was infuriated.

Because my husband was fully ensnared in the “affair fog,” he was unable or perhaps unwilling to be present for the children after he informed us all of his intent to divorce.  Consequently, almost every holiday was absent his presence because of his move to another state to be with his “soul mate.”  Neither of my older boys, 16 and 20, seemed outwardly to mind his absence but my young daughter felt trapped between worlds.  She wanted to be with her family for Christmas and important holidays, but at the same time, felt like she needed to protect her father from the disapproval of everybody else.

It came out years later that my ex-husband’s affair partner was verbally and emotionally abusive to my daughter who was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Order (for which she took prescribed anti-anxiety medicine since the 4th grade).  His affair partner would constantly ridicule my daughter and berate her for her anxiety, saying that my daughter was faking it and using her anxiety to manipulate her father.  It was heartbreaking for me to watch my daughter fly away to another state, knowing her deep anxiety and wonder if her father would be there for her in any tangible way.

Here are some tips I have for managing your relationship with your toxic ex:

  1. Try to be as positive about your ex-spouse as you possibly can, even if it is an unbelievable stretch. Maybe he/she is a narcissist, a cheater, substance abuser, etc.  I get it, but you want your children to see you as a safe place to tell you about possible abuse or neglect happening so you can intervene if necessary.  One of my biggest regrets is not compartmentalizing my grief and outrage in such a way that my daughter felt like she couldn’t talk to me about the abuse going on.  Had I known, I could have taken steps to address the abuse and possibly restructured or limited the time she spent with the abusive person.  Knowing what I know now, I would have paid for a CFI (child and family investigator) to investigate my ex-spouse’s household to substantiate and eliminate the abuse.


  1. As much as you can, and this is super hard, try to stay off the crazy train. Oftentimes, an ex-spouse will engage in the wildest crazy making you’ve ever seen.  What I’ve seen over and over, with my own divorce as well as others, is this particular technique called “kick the dog”.  If your ex-spouse is struggling in their new relationship, instead of dealing with it, they attack and criticize someone else, which is usually the former spouse.  It’s hard to not take the bait with this kind of behavior, but it is critical if you are ever going to be free from their crazy-making.  Here is the key, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. I know that can be next to impossible, but the more calm, cool, and collected you are, the fewer places their crazy has to land.  In the end, it’s not about you, it’s about the consequences of their own bad choices.


  1. Join a support group. Find a church group, therapy group, or Facebook group, but find a group of people that have gone before you, or at least know what you are thinking and feeling. STOP asking for advice from people who have never experienced this level of toxicity. What you are dealing with it over and above the normal level of conflict that former spouses deal with. You need specialized advice and support.  You need people that can understand your obsessive thinking and share their strategies for dealing with it. And most importantly, a group will help you to compartmentalize in a healthy way your frustrations and anger so your children can feel like you are a safe place for them to share their questions and concerns about the toxicity that might overflow onto them.

The post How To Manage Your Relationship With Your Toxic Ec appeared first on Divorced Moms.


Piggy bank and house

The Benefits of Divorce Mortgage Planning

Piggy bank and house


With about 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce in the USA, it’s shocking to me that divorce mortgage planning isn’t more widely utilized. Among the countless stressors that accompany divorce is figuring out the best living situation for everyone involved. Maybe you’d like to keep your marital home and buy out your spouse’s share of the equity.

Maybe you’d prefer the opposite and have your spouse pay you for your share of the existing home so you can find your own. Or you both decide that selling the house and renting separately is best for now. The first two options require getting a mortgage following the divorce.

Divorce Mortgage Planning

There are no right or wrong answers regarding your home in the divorce, only options to consider that will make everyone (you, your spouse, and children) feel comfortable and safe. One reason some consider renting is fear of the unknown. Buying a home or refinancing to stay in the current home can seem intimidating because of the process of getting a mortgage after divorce.

Working in the home financing business for the last 25 years, I am very familiar with the fears both men and women have when it comes to getting a mortgage, especially following a divorce. The process can seem daunting, complicated, and difficult to understand, and it’s common to have doubts about qualifying for a loan for the home you really want.

Know Your Options

Knowing your options during the negotiations and before signing on the dotted line is critical for easing your fears. Empowering yourself with knowledge will ease anxiety and help you negotiate more effectively.

As a Certified Divorce Lending Professional, I consult with your financial advisor if you have one, so I can present you with clear and understandable options. I also give a good indication of what the options look like prior to the mediation or negotiations, so you can prepare to base your decisions on facts instead of emotions.

In some ways, getting a mortgage after divorce is no different than applying for a mortgage at any other time in your life. Regardless of the situation, the mortgage process may seem lengthy and complicated. Your lender will ask you a lot of questions and ask for several documents. It’s important to have trust in that person, but also insist that each step is explained to you clearly. Inevitably, you will get an education throughout the process. In my business, I want my clients to feel empowered. I won’t just tell my clients to trust me; I work with them through the process to earn that trust. My goal is to provide all the information they need to make decisions based on choices and scenarios I offer in conjunction with their financial planner, divorce attorney, and/or mediator.

Knowledge is power over fear. Gathering all the information during the process allows you to make better, more informed decisions for your future. Do yourself a favor and be resourceful when it matters most. Divorce mortgage planning will set you up for the best possible outcome as you navigate through this life transition.

The post The Benefits of Divorce Mortgage Planning appeared first on Divorced Moms.


worried woman with hand on forehead

4 Early Divorce Mistakes and Why You Should Avoid Them

worried woman with hand on forehead


Marriage can be (and often is) a time of joy and love. Getting married usually means you have found “the person” you plan to spend the rest of your life with. However, it does not work out that way for everyone. According to the Daily Pioneer, 40 to 50% of marriages end in divorce.

This could be due to many different reasons, such as marrying at too young an age, episodes of infidelity or abuse, or simply falling out of love. Whatever the reason(s) a marriage fails, the decision to divorce is typically an emotionally difficult one, and jumping into the divorce process without being fully prepared for what is to come can lead to several critical and potentially costly mistakes which can be avoided with the right preparation.

This article addresses four early divorce mistakes

Mistake No. 1: Failing to confront indecision

Divorce is not generally a snap decision where you wake up one morning and decide to do it in an instant. For most people, the decision to divorce is a much more gradual process that begins with questions such as: Is this marriage working? Is there a way to make it better? Am I done? What would divorce be like? What would life after divorce be like? Is this what I want? This is what we call the period of indecision.

Yet many people hire a lawyer to file divorce papers without fully moving through the period of indecision, thinking they can start the process and continue mulling it over. However, filing divorce papers brings court-driven deadlines, pre-trial discovery requests from the opposing attorney, and mandatory court appearances, all of which your attorney will be required to respond to; and all of which will be costing money, lots of money, while the mulling over and indecision continues.

To be sure, filing for divorce is a commitment, not something to think over and second-guess once the wheels have been set in motion. Cases can be withdrawn of course, if both sides agree, but that’s after lots of unnecessary fees. The bottom line: Confront the period of indecision head-on. Get assistance from a professional such as a divorce counselor or other health professional if that will help. But believe that you will be best served by fully moving through the period of indecision before committing to the divorce process.

Mistake No. 2: Failing to get organized

There is significant value to getting organized before hitting the “start button” on the divorce process and failing to do so can be and usually is unnecessarily costly, both in terms of legal fees and in terms of the outcome. One of the most important and valuable things you can do for yourself is to prepare in advance.

That means not only getting emotionally ready but also getting your financial information and documents gathered and organized. When a couple gets married, state law provides certain rights and responsibilities–that’s the contract of marriage. When a couple gets divorced, the court system is set up to evaluate those rights and responsibilities as they relate to whatever assets are owned at the time of separation.

What did the couple accumulate during the marriage?  Are both spouses entitled to all of those assets or not? Will one spouse be obligated to support the other, and what will be fair? If there are children involved, what will the support obligation be, and for how long? If the financial picture is fuzzy, or if all assets are unknown or some are hidden, this process can become volatile, drawn out, and unnecessarily costly. Very costly.

It is also not uncommon for one spouse to be unaware of some or all the marital assets, as well as to have limited access to the information. This also translates into a drawn-out procedure to locate and value marital assets, all leading to unnecessary fees and costs.

The bottom line: Get organized in advance before starting any formal divorce process. Get help if you need it but having your financial house (documents and information) in order in advance generally saves many thousands of dollars in fees and usually translates to a better result in the end.

Mistake No. 3: Choosing the wrong divorce process

There are four main ways you can get a divorce starting with going to court. First, understand that going to trial to resolve disputed issues means handing all decisions over to a judge, rather than participating yourself in a mutually agreed resolution. Leaving it to a judge to decide what is best for your family is not something you want if you can avoid it. Judges are there to protect people when they need to be protected.

So, if there’s abuse in your marriage, whether it’s financial abuse, physical abuse, or emotional abuse, that can be an appropriate case to take to trial because the court can enter orders to protect you and your family.

However, if you’re arguing over accounts, vacation houses, and collectibles, then court is to be avoided if possible. A second way is for both spouses to hire attorneys or other professionals for themselves but to tell them you ultimately want to settle out of court. This way you let them do the heavy lifting, back and forth, and trading proposals, all while it’s settled out of court. The third way is mediation. This consists of you and your spouse and a neutral third party in a room (or virtually meeting with them). That person might be an attorney, they might be a mental health professional, or they might have a financial background, but their job is not to decide what’s going to happen. They’re helping the two of you reach a decision by providing information along the way and helping the couple reach a compromise.

Lastly, the fourth way is a “do it yourself process”. Some companies are now offering online divorces where they have the forms available, and you and your spouse can fill in what you want the court to do. This method is becoming more popular, which is understandable since the cost is a lot lower, the time frame can be much shorter and it’s empowering to do something on your own.

However, there’s a very narrow window for spouses to get an outcome that feels fair at the end of that process. Part of that is because divorce is very complex legally, financially, and emotionally. The idea that you could do it all on your own is probably not realistic for most people.

Mistake No. 4: Hiring the wrong help

Hiring the right help, whether it’s a therapist, a parenting expert, an attorney, a mediator, or whomever you decide is crucial to your divorce process. Having the right team to help to get you to the finish line can make the process much smoother. When you’re hiring an attorney, it’s not just where they went to school or how many years they’ve been in practice, or their fees that matter.

Consider: Are you comfortable talking to this person? Do you feel like they understand your goals? Are they really going to support your process in the best way possible? Or are you going to be locking horns with this person, fighting your own team the whole way?

Having a personality fit with your attorney is just as important, if not more important, than their credentials on paper. In conclusion, entering the divorce process can be a complex undertaking, filled with mixed emotions and high anxiety. Before pulling the trigger and starting the process, confront the period of indecision, get your financial ducks in a row by getting organized in advance, choose your professionals wisely, and pick the right process for your issues.

Avoiding these early mistakes will make your process easier, faster, and more cost-effective. Additionally, having a strong support system to be there with you every step of the way is important as you are not alone, and you will soon be able to start your new beginning.

The post 4 Early Divorce Mistakes and Why You Should Avoid Them appeared first on Divorced Moms.


Woman angry with cheating husband

How Not To Handle Infidelity

Woman angry with cheating husband


Let’s face it, nobody gets married with the end goal of eventually getting divorced.  We all think that we are in the percentage of marriages that are actually going to make it, and we don’t need to think about the possibility or eventuality of getting a divorce.

In my case, I never dreamed of the possibility of infidelity, so when I finally uncovered the long-term double life of my husband, I was totally unprepared for the gamut of emotions that flooded over me like a raging tsunami.  Because my husband was a pilot, as well as a military reservist, he was able to compartmentalize his life in such a way that I didn’t suspect his cheating activities. Sure, there were signs, but it’s only in hindsight that your vision is 20/20.

How NOT to Handle Infidelity

Now as I look back, and especially because I became a divorce mediator, I would change a lot of my assumptions, thinking, and behavior.  Of course, I was not the one who initiated the divorce, nor did I want it, even with all of the infidelity. But sadly, that was not my choice and at the end of the day, my marriage was one more statistic. It’s my hope that you can glean some wisdom from my high-conflict divorce on what NOT to do in your own infidelity induced divorce.

Don’t beg them to stay.

This can be really hard for people, especially if you are opposed to divorce on religious grounds or even opposed to divorce in general.  The hard reality is that if one person wants a divorce, it will happen sooner or later.  When one person wants out, and the other one doesn’t, the more the one being left begs the one leaving to change their mind, the more contempt the one leaving has for the one being left.

You see, in order to leave someone who loves you, especially in the case of infidelity, the person leaving has to make up a narrative that supports their actions.  They begin to re-write history in order to justify why leaving their spouse is right for everyone involved.  The more the spouse being left tries to reason with the leaving spouse, the more the leaving spouse longs to go.

The reason is not what they are dealing with at the moment, it’s fantasy.  They believe the myth that the grass is greener on the other side and that’s where they are going no matter the cost. They are gripped in limerence, unable to walk away from their new “soul mate.”

Here is my advice:


Like in the parable of the prodigal son, the only thing that impacts the person leaving is for them to “come to their senses” after they experience the fruit of their choices.  No amount of begging, reasoning, guilting, or shaming will do the trick.

After my husband told me he wanted a divorce, instead of begging him to do marriage counseling, I should have given him some brochures for local apartments and asked him when he wanted to move out.  I wish I had been able to operate from a position of strength rather than desperation.  Desperation feeds contempt, strength starves it.

Stop blaming yourself

This goes hand in hand with begging them to stay.  When one person wants out of a marriage against the will of the other person, more is at play than what meets the eye. I do a lot of mediation sessions, and divorces that are mutual have been processed and declared dead by both parties.  These are the easiest mediations to do; both parties are ready to attend to the business of separating their lives and for the most part, have begun to move past their emotions.

The people that are the hardest to mediate with are the ones who are having to do the business of the divorce but have not yet processed it.  In most of these cases, there is some kind of infidelity, betrayal, or mental illness that is motivating one party to divorce the other.  In these cases, the person being left behind is unable to comprehend the mind of the other person.  They get stuck in obsessive thinking, analyzing every word, gesture, and nuance.

Many times, the person being left receives a message of rejection and begins to obsess over their past history together and where things went wrong. Here is the truth:  Every marriage is marred; every person in a marriage is broken in some way.  But the partner who ups and leaves with no counseling and no communication is the one responsible for breaking the marriage.  As my sister says:  every marriage deserves a concerted effort at marriage counseling for at least six months. If you are unhappy in your marriage seek counseling; your marriage deserves it, and so do your children.

The person who recognizes their brokenness and seeks to keep the marriage together even at a significant cost to themselves is not to blame for the death of their marriage.

If possible, (and I know that this is so, so hard) try not to take their behavior personally.  That’s ridiculous I know because marriage and family are the most personal things in a person’s life. But what I mean is this: they aren’t leaving you; they are leaving the marriage.  For whatever reason, whether because of the affair fog they are in, or the addiction that grips them, they believe that changing their scenery is the answer to all their unhappiness.

One of the best things my pastor ever said to me was, “Paula, he would have left whatever woman he was married to.  This isn’t about you.”  Of course, I can see that now, and I desperately wish that I could have recognized that truth so much sooner.

Don’t throw your pearls before swine

This is a popular idiom that simply means: don’t give or share anything of value to people who won’t appreciate it.  And this includes your heart and your pain.  One of my biggest mistakes was expecting friends, acquaintances, and shockingly, my immediate family to comprehend and validate my outrage.  Unfortunately for me, I ran into several responses that actually wounded me even further.  My naïve expectations led me to believe that infidelity was uniformly condemned by the population at large.  But sadly, I was deeply disappointed and hurt by some of my close friends, family, and church leaders.  Here are some examples:

  • My own father responded with “you need to be gentle with him” when I told him of my husband’s three- year double life.  It was crushing to have a person that is supposed to be your defender actually take the side of your betrayer.  When my sons refused to accept their father’s infidelity, my husband emailed my father to see if my father could influence them.  I would never have known about this correspondence except that my sister told me about the request.  My father didn’t want to tell me himself, so as to keep himself in good graces with my husband.  It felt like a hideous betrayal all over again.
  • A friend of mine, who was divorced due to similar circumstances, asked me with heated intensity, “but what did you do to drive him to it?”  To say I was flabbergasted is an understatement; I was devastated by such an accusation.  After I discovered my husband’s affair on Halloween, I offered counseling and forgiveness in an attempt to keep my family together. For two months, I struggled to keep his betrayal to myself, trying to protect him from the consequences of his actions, hoping that if we were able to get past his infidelity, he wouldn’t have to endure the exposure of his choices.  Ultimately, right after Christmas, he chose his affair partner over his family and served me divorce papers at church during a staff meeting.  To have someone re-victimize me with the question, “What did you do to drive him to it?” was incomprehensible.
  • A church leader, after hearing about my husband’s double life and infidelity, glibly responded, “well now you have to forgive him.”  My divorce wasn’t anywhere near being finalized, I was six months post “bomb drop” and here was someone spouting the most Christianized, simplistic, ridiculous advice you could give to someone who has been wounded by years-long deception.  I was sick to my stomach after my conversation with him.  To think this was a response from a leader in the church, who was supposed to shepherd and protect the flock, was nauseating to me.

Ultimately, I have moved on from the pain, confusion, and grief of my husband’s infidelity.  It has left lasting scars on both me and my children, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that I can be a resource for other people going through what I went through.  Infidelity, like all life experiences, can leave you bitter or better, and I choose better.

The post How Not To Handle Infidelity appeared first on Divorced Moms.


Year In Review: DivorcedMoms 12 Most Popular Articles Of 2022

Year In Review: DivorcedMoms 12 Most Popular Articles Of 2022

The articles which most caught our readers’ attention this year: here are DivorcedMom’s most popular articles of 2022.


From narcissists, discovering valuable lessons after divorce, and loving toxic men and affairs, we’ve chosen the best of DivorcedMoms from 2022 for you.

DivorcedMoms 12 Most Popular Articles Of 2022


7 Signs You’re Sleeping With a Narcissist

sleeping with narcissist

These are the ways in which narcissistic men are different from the rest. Watch out for any
of these behaviors or mental patterns, and you’ll be able to protect your heart from the wrong

5 Valuable Lessons I Learned After My Husband Left Me

If you’ve been left, hopefully, you’ve learned that healing and doing the needed work to
rebuild your life is completely up to you.

6 Things That Happen When You Love a Toxic Man

toxic men

A toxic man will maneuver himself quickly to earn your trust and obtain your personal power.
This is why you will allow the abuse, will compromise you and forsake you – because to him that
what love is.

6 Things I Learned To Like About Myself Once He Was Gone

happy after divorce

When my marriage ended I was fearful of being alone. I was more alone being married.
I am happy and I am finally at peace with myself. I have my freedom from constant approval.
My life has changed but so have I. I had the attitude to change my status quo and I am proud
of that accomplishment.

My Marriage, My Affair, And My Hard Learned Lessons

woman affair

I fell hard and fast and I had never felt so seen or heard before. There was a passion and a
connection between us that I had never felt before, but now that I’ve had that, I didn’t know
how to live without it.

Keep Calm and Carry On: What I’ve Learned While Divorcing a Narcissist

As I rapidly head towards mediation and hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) finalizing our
divorce, I have made a list of things that could drive me crazy throughout this miserable
process. But I have realized that if I look at the problem from a parent/toddler viewpoint
rather than husband/wife perspective, I know I can remain calm and keep carrying on.

Little Did I Know Being Divorced From Him Would Prove Much Worse Than Being Married To Him

divorcing a narcissist

For some reason, my ex had a fire burning deep in his belly to make me suffer financially,
physically and emotionally for our divorce… even though he was the one who asked for it.
And what made it worse was he could care less if our kids suffered too.

To My Ex: Guess What, I Wasn’t The Crazy One!

Have you been there? The dutiful husband who one day decides he wants a divorce. Out
of the blue, he wants out and, after years of a loving marriage, you are the root of all evil
in his life.

Can You Find The Positive in These 12 Post-Divorce Problems?

Many times its much easier to focus on all the things that change (for the worse) when you
get divorced and become a single mom. Things do change but you have the power to change
the narrative and make it work for you. Being positive despite the odds involves being intentional
about the process but you can do it.

Peaceful Divorce? For Some It’s a Great Concept But Not a Reality


There is a belief among those who were able to come through a divorce fairly unscathed that
those of us who didn’t handle our situations poorly, that if we had worked a bit harder we also
could be going out to dinner with our ex and taking “family” vacations and experiencing a “peaceful divorce.”

Divorce Made My Ex A Better Father


While I was married to my ex, I pulled the majority of the weight when it came to housework
and child-related responsibilities. Our son was born with some complicated medical needs.
In those times, I don’t think my children’s father could have named their doctors or teachers
at gunpoint, let alone described their daily routines, preferences, and needs.

My Job, He Said, Was “To Make His Life Easy”

I was busy chasing after 2 little kids, who were 15 months apart. I didn’t put much thought
into what was going on in the big picture of my life. I didn’t stop and analyze how my husband
was systematically separating me from my friends and family. How isolated I had become.
How I had stopped pursuing my dreams because my husband disapproved of them.

The post Year In Review: DivorcedMoms 12 Most Popular Articles Of 2022 appeared first on Divorced Moms.


keyhole in a wall

How To Protect Your Family’s Privacy During a Divorce

keyhole in a wall


When it comes to divorce, it is important to be aware of what you do and don’t share during the proceedings. You need to be cautious of what you discuss on social media, how you talk to friends and family, and how you handle your bank accounts and other sensitive information.

There are many sad realities about divorce, and two of them include the fact that your filings are often made public and that the private accounts you once shared do not belong to both of you anymore.

Protect Your Family’s Privacy During Divorce

In order to regain some sanity, you need to ensure that your personal privacy is protected during a divorce. That means keeping your personal life away from prying eyes, verifying that your private accounts are locked and password protected, and ensuring the safety of your kids both online and in the real world. Today, we will discuss all of the considerations you should remember when protecting your family during a divorce.

Keeping Your Private Issues Quiet

When it comes to protecting your privacy during a divorce, it takes more than being cautious around the neighbors and family. What you may not realize is that even though most financial documents are confidential, any exhibits or affidavits that are filed can be made public. In court, exhibits may include witness statements, testimonials, transcripts of phone calls, photos, and more.

Once that information is made public, it is hard to manage where it can go. If any of these exhibits paint you in an unflattering light, then it could affect your personal relationships and your ability to find a job.

Luckily, there are a few measures that you can take to try and retain your privacy. One idea is to attempt to settle and get the divorce over with before it becomes complicated. This process could include trying divorce mediation, which can help you and your spouse come to an agreement that will avoid court and those potentially harmful exhibits. Also, when you work with a mediator, all conversations are kept confidential.

Regardless of how long the divorce might take, it is also a good idea to advise your attorney to complete a confidential filing, which will redact much of the private info. Your lawyer can also attempt to file for your paperwork to be held from public view. It isn’t always guaranteed, but it is worth a shot.

Smart Passwords and Other Security Measures

It is also important to protect your privacy when it comes to securing your home, finances, and personal information. Your former spouse must understand that you don’t share everything anymore and that you have your own personal property.

You deserve to feel safe when you are in your own home, so make sure to change the locks if necessary and update the passwords on the smart systems in your home. Also, do a sweep around your home for any hidden cameras or microphones and check the devices connected to your Wi-Fi router and eliminate anything you didn’t install yourself.

The divorce will also mean that you will likely be setting up your own bank and credit card accounts as a way of reclaiming your life and rebuilding your finances. It is important that you secure your accounts with a strong password that uses a mixture of characters, including letters, numbers, and punctuation. Try to avoid the desire to use passwords that include personal information because you think they are easy to remember. There are many people who can find the clues to that password by perusing your social media.

If you are unsure of how to create a complex password, then consider the tips from World Password Day and try using an online password generator or string together two nonsensical phrases.

It is essential that you protect all of your files from prying eyes. Even if you don’t think your spouse will be snooping, proper protection is essential so that you keep yourself safeguarded against the many hackers and cybercriminals in the world. An easy way to ensure your privacy is to add a password to all of the files that you have online and on your computer. You can easily password-protect PDFs and similar files by using online tools that allow you to upload your file, add a smart password, and then save it to your system.

In this day and age, when data breaches are frequent, it is important to protect everything you do on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.

Protecting Your Kids Online

If you have kids, then you know that another of the difficult parts of a divorce is the fact that your little ones have to experience this truly painful time. That is why it is important that you do everything to protect them and their privacy.

For instance, caution is essential on social media, especially if your kids are old enough to use it. Advise your kids not to share any personal information on social media because not only could it be used against you during the divorce, but that information could also be seen by unsavory characters online.

Also, it is possible that some people you know might try to post negative things about you and the family. Since you don’t need that negativity and you don’t want your kids to see it, unfriend individuals you no longer speak to and create a new account if necessary.

Finally, it is important to talk to your kids about the internet and the dangers that lurk around every corner. Your child may only want to help by looking for support online during this difficult time, but you must advise that there are many dangerous websites and predators that could be lurking. For extra protection, it is important that you improve internet security by installing a virtual private network that will disguise your location. Also, ensure that your firewall is up to date to eliminate external threats.

In the end, there is no way around the fact that divorce is hard. However, by using the tips discussed here, you can at least ensure that your privacy is protected.

The post How To Protect Your Family’s Privacy During a Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.


Why You Should Always Consider Mediation Before Litigating a Divorce

Divorce is a complex process that can bring feelings of anger or sadness to everyone involved. Conflict in the divorce can mean more emotional and economic pain, for the litigants and any children involved.

Mediating a divorce is an excellent decision to help avoid an expensive legal battle and reduce that stress by providing the parties to the suit with more control over the case’s outcome.

Learn why mediation is better than divorce, then contact our Dallas divorce mediation attorneys for more information.

Divorce Mediation Overview

Divorce mediation allows separating couples to meet with a neutral third party, with or without counsel, to resolve any issues or items of contention in a divorce. Mediation is preferable to litigation because it is less upsetting and almost always less expensive. Divorce mediation also usually allows the parties to finish their case quicker than a standard divorce.

Another important benefit to mediation is that you and your partner have the ultimate say—subject to agreement and the confines of the law—over your contested issues. Outside of extreme circumstances when mediation may not be the best course of action, any agreement reached in mediation is binding on the Court. This means that you both can keep the power and control over your relationship, and the Court is not making ordering things that no one asked for.

How Mediation Works

Divorce mediation starts when you and your partner agree and select a mediator, or the Court appoints one. While divorce mediation is voluntary in most states, Texas courts have the power to order the parties to mediate their case. This is the limit to what the Court can do, as the Court cannot force parties to reach agreements.

While mediation is highly successful in resolving cases, it is most effective when both parties are willing to negotiate their contentious divorce issues. Usually, the mediator will set up an appointment in a neutral setting with the spouses (and counsel, if any). During this initial meeting, the spouses can talk about their views on common divorce topics that, include:

  • Division of assets
  • Child visitation and custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony

The first discussion helps your mediator to understand how realistic a possible resolution to the case is via mediation. As a further means of “keeping the peace” during these sessions, the mediator will generally have each side in a separate room (or Zoom room, if being done electronically).

There is no time limit on divorce mediation in Texas. Everyone can continue working with the mediator to reach an agreement until an agreement is reached, or the process becomes unworkable. If the issues are too complex or the conflict is too high for agreements to be reached, litigation is still possible. Still, mediation is almost always less expensive than a lengthy divorce fought out in the courts. Parties can save thousands of dollars—and ever-valuable time—by resolving their case through mediation.

Is Mediation An Option?

Mediation is possible if there is a chance you and your partner will agree to the terms of a divorce. Also, both sides need to be open on finances, and agreement is required on child custody matters. However, mediation is not usually advisable if there is a history of domestic violence.

Contact Our Dallas Divorce Mediation Attorneys Today

Divorce is painful, and a contentious divorce can be emotionally and financially devastating. Everyone is better off when both sides can agree to divorce terms without an extended legal quarrel. Divorce mediation is a great choice to reach these agreements, whether the issues are alimony, child custody, or division of property.

The Dallas divorce mediation attorneys at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson can help with mediating your divorce to bring your case to an agreeable conclusion without a lengthy legal battle. Our attorneys are proud to serve the communities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, and San Antonio. Please contact our Dallas divorce mediation attorneys at (214) 273-2400.

The post Why You Should Always Consider Mediation Before Litigating a Divorce appeared first on ONDA Family Law.


The Simplest Way to Reduce Anxiety & Trauma Symptoms: Part 3

0:00 The Simplest Way to Reduce Anxiety & Trauma Symptoms
1:38 Grounding defined–and Why it helps!
10:15 Some Variations of Grounding

(Don’t forget to watch the first video in this series!) NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT!

One of the most powerful tools in battling anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder, drawn straight from science, is the knowledge of how trauma symptoms operate in our nervous system.

Here, in a three -part video, you’ll learn why PTSD develops, and how our bodies already have a built-in capacity to overcome it.

Posttraumatic stress disorder falls into 4 clusters of symptoms:

Reexperiencing (intrusion), which includes nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive memories, and even body memories (physical feelings associated with past trauma that occur in the present.)

Hyperarousal, which includes intense anxiety and feeling chronically or intermittently “keyed up or on edge,” often presenting as irritability and/or strong startle responses or jumpiness.

Avoidance of thoughts feelings and reminders of the traumatic experience, which often includes emotional “numbing”

Changes in mood and thinking, especially feelings of depression and an impulse to isolate (this latter cluster, not mentioned in my video, has only recently been added in the DSM V) .

The key to reducing any symptom of PTSD–or anxiety , itself, for that matter–is to remember the lesson from over half a century of research: *you can’t be relaxed and anxious at the same time* The fancy name for this well established phenomenon is “reciprocal inhibition.”

For some time now, we’ve known that there are two sides to the nervous system: the sympathetic (flight or flight) and parasympathetic (relaxation response). When one side of the nervous system switches on, the other begins switching off (or more accurately, as one becomes more active, the other becomes less active.)

This is far more than a fun research fact There’s tremendous power in this knowledge because *all the symptoms of PTSD ride on top of a fight or flight state.* All of them.

Without the sympathetic nervous system in full drive, we can’t have intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, jumpiness, or avoidance (which is s way of reducing anxiety in the short term). We have no need to isolate or shut down. We’re less likely to fly off the handle. Not because we’ve convinced ourselves we’re safe, but because our nervous system is no longer acting as though we’re always in a life and death situation.

In other words, the push-pull of these two sides of our nervous system means we have the capacity to self-manage trauma and anxiety symptoms; the more time we spend practicing known methods of activating a parasympathetic reaction–mediation, progressive muscle relaxation. yoga, diaphragmatic breathing, aerobic exercise (which trigger a calmness afterwards)–the more trauma symptoms begin to lose their hold on us. We remember the feeling of peace, more and more–and so does our nervous system. I call this lowering your idle.

Picture the idle on a car. It can be set higher or lower, depending on how the engine is tuned. If it starts lower, it can’t redline (over rev or overheat) as easily or quickly.

The same is true of our nervous system. Greater familiarity with (and time in) a parasympathetic state makes us less likely to “red line” (experience fight or flight spikes) because our sympathetic nervous system arousal is already at a lower state. And that means fewer trauma symptoms.

In this followup video, I demonstrate a simple combination of mindful breathing and grounding to practice activating a parasympathetic response while feeling *safely* present, which is key to reducing trauma symptoms without triggering dissociation.



Can I have my attorney’s fees paid by my spouse?

Everyone knows that a divorce is not fun. On top of not exactly being a walk in the park, it can also be expensive, stressful and an emotional roller coaster for you and your family. Paying for a divorce could end up being one of the most important factors in your entire case. Being able to make sure that you can afford the divorce that you are seeking is among the most critical pieces of information that you can learn about during the entire process. Starting down a road that you cannot afford to continue down is not where you want to find yourself. Plan your divorce, plan the costs, and develop a strategy for meeting the costs head-on. That is a winning strategy no matter what ends up happening in your case.

It makes sense to inquire about whether your spouse can pay your attorney’s fees. After all, it may be the “fault” of your spouse that you are even in this position. You’ve been a faithful and loving partner to your spouse but he or she may have committed adultery, wasted community assets, or engaged in cruel behavior toward you, and your marriage has failed as a result. You didn’t want to file for divorce, after all. Rather, the divorce was thrust upon you due to the actions of your spouse. Now that you are learning what the costs are of a divorce you may want to know what the options are as far as your spouse being able to pay your attorney’s fees.

The answer that a lawyer gives whenever an answer is unclear is it depends. The judge in your case will determine whether your spouse can be ordered to pay your attorney fees if you ask for them to be paid by him or her. This analysis is performed on a case-by-case basis so we would need to know more about your specific circumstances before I can give you an answer on this subject. In a lot of divorce cases, each party pays their attorney. In others, one spouse is ordered to pay all the attorney’s fees.

What is the process involved in asking your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees?

Unless you ask the court to order your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees it won’t happen. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. In your Original Petition for Divorce or Counterpetition, you need to petition the court to have your spouse pay for your attorney’s fees. Make sure that your attorney is aware that you want this to be included in your petition or counterpetition. Most attorneys will include a request for attorney’s fees regardless of if you mention anything to him or her, but to be safe you should make this known to your attorney before the petition is filed. Otherwise, your petition will need to be amended to include the request.

What are the factors that a family court judge will look to when determining whether attorney’s fees should be granted?

Texas is a community property state. This means that at the time of your divorce all property owned by you and your spouse is presumed to be community property and therefore subject to division in your divorce. There are exceptions to this rule but generally speaking the property and debts of your marriage at the time of your divorce are divisible. Included in this rule are attorney’s fees. Your attorney’s fees can be divided between the two of you as a part of your divorce. You can negotiate for that as a part of your divorce settlement, or you can ask the court to order your spouse to have that done.

Property is to be divided in a just and right manner. Fairness counts, in other words. The financial wherewithal of you and your spouse will be of the utmost importance to a judge when it comes to looking at the costs of your case and who can afford to pay what. If you are a stay-at-home spouse with no outside income opportunities, then this will matter. If your spouse is a doctor with oodles of money and a high income then this will matter, as well. Expect that you will have a good chance to have your spouse pay for your attorney’s fees in this case.

Just because a divorce is ongoing does not mean that your bills are going to stop coming in. Rent, mortgage, utilities, school tuition, etc. These responsibilities that are a part of your life will continue to need to be taken care of even after the divorce is filed. This may seem unfair but that is the reality of the situation. With this in mind, adding attorney’s fees on top of this equation can be too much for you to handle if you have no income coming. Your spouse may well have to pay attorney’s fees for both of you in this situation.

How do fault grounds play into how attorney’s fees are divided, if at all?

A relevant question to ask would be whether your spouse’s bad actions will have any impact on how attorney’s fees are divided. We have already discussed fault grounds in terms of how they may impact how costs and other aspects of your divorce are divided as far as property is concerned. Keep in mind that attorney’s fees are usually awarded at the end of a divorce. You can negotiate with your spouse so that attorney’s fees are paid out over time, but you may have a judge order a lump sum to be paid to you at the end of a divorce once you have submitted a bill to him or her. Make sure that you have a detailed billing statement from your attorney but not one that shows the nature of conversations that were discussed or anything else that would violate the privileges associated with the attorney-client relationship.

It is a common practice in divorces for a judge to order both you and your spouse to produce accountings for your attorney’s fees. That way the judge can compare the bills and other costs associated with the divorce to decide if attorney’s fees will need to be divided. If not, then you will need to pay your lawyer any fees that are unpaid at that time or work out a payment plan of some sort with them. However, if you have factors that you believe are favorable to you then you should present those to the judge in your pleadings and then plan to have your attorney’s fees ready for the judge at the end of your case.

If you can’t afford to pay your attorney….

Let’s say that you are going along through your case, and you suddenly discover that you won’t be able to pay your attorney’s fees. For most people, it won’t be a sudden realization that you cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer for their fees. This will probably be a realization that you have before the case begins. You may be lucky enough to have a family member or someone else who will step up to the plate and offer to pay those attorney’s fees for you temporarily until you can pay them back. They may give you some money to pay as a retainer to your spouse until you get an award for attorney’s fees during the divorce case.

You can ask for temporary attorney’s fees in your divorce by filing a motion for interim attorney’s fees. The judge can either hold a hearing on the matter or can simply address your motion and any response from your spouse to determine if interim attorney’s fees will be allowed. The attorney’s fees accrued by both sides as well as your resources will be looked at in depth to determine if attorney’s fees can be paid on an interim basis.

How can you avoid paying attorney’s fees?

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot now. Suppose that your spouse has asked a judge to order you to pay their attorney’s fees. Are there any steps that you can take to avoid being put in a position where you could be ordered to pay for those fees? One step that you can take is to hire your attorney to argue why you should not be made to pay for your spouse’s attorney fees. Simply having your attorney pay for you does not absolve you of having to pay for your spouse’s attorney’s fees. Rather, this is a decision that will be made based on several different factors that we have already discussed in some detail today. However, it is a useful argument to be able to make when you have your lawyer to pay and a tight budget, to begin with.

What you and your attorney can do is present a detailed and accurate rundown of your income, your monthly bills and expenses, and any other costs that exist for you which may limit your ability to pay for your spouse’s attorney fees. Simply not having the money to pay for your spouse’s attorney’s fees may be the best way to avoid having to pay them. Of course, if you are using community income to pay for your attorney’s fees and have drained a jointly held bank account then this would be a factor worth considering if you are a family court judge.

Resources that are available for low-income Texans

If you are going through a divorce and have a very low or no income at all then you may wonder if there are any resources available to you that can assist you in moving your case forward. As luck would have it, yes, there are. From the very beginning of your case, you need to know that there are costs associated with simply filing for divorce. For example, it will cost you money to file an Original Petition for Divorce. If you have a very low income, then you may be able to have your court costs waived by filling out an application to have your fees waived. This is known as a statement of inability to afford the payment of court costs. By filling out the form you can tell a judge that you cannot afford to pay these basic costs associated with your divorce and that you need to have them waived.

Your spouse may also be in a position where he or she can be ordered to help you survive financially at least until the divorce is over. For example, you can ask for temporary spousal support. Temporary spousal support will have your spouse pay you a certain sum of money each month until the divorce is complete. This may not be a large sum of money but likely would be based on your monthly expenses over and above what you can afford to pay based on your income. In your motion for temporary orders, you can ask for temporary spousal support.

Contractual alimony comes at the end of a case when you and your spouse agree that you should be able to receive a certain sum of money for a certain period after your divorce. Contractual alimony would be negotiated using elements of contract law rather than family law. This is important to note because in the future you would not be able to enforce provisions in your divorce decree involving contractual alimony in the same way that you would spousal maintenance. As we are about to see, spousal maintenance is included in the Texas family code and a judge can enforce their orders regarding this subject. However, contractual alimony is different.

In a divorce trial, spousal maintenance can be ordered by a judge if you and your spouse do not agree on contractual alimony. It is difficult to be awarded spousal maintenance in a divorce. A judge can only award spousal maintenance if you or your spouse lack sufficient property after the divorce to be able to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, the spouse who would be paying spousal maintenance would need to have been convicted or received deferred adjudication for a family violence offense against the receiving spouse or child within two years of the divorce having been filed. Or spousal maintenance can be ordered if you or your spouse is unable to earn enough money to meet your minimum reasonable needs due to a disability suffered by you or your child. Finally, the most common circumstance under which spousal maintenance is paid is when you and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years and there is a proven financial need for the support.

What kind of financial support can you gain from your spouse immediately? a new paragraph in some instances you may require financial support from your spouse right away. In that case, you can ask a judge to issue a temporary restraining order or temporary orders. A temporary restraining order would last for a relatively short period until a hearing can be held, or mediation can allow the two of you to resolve your matter amicably. Once you have temporary orders in place, those orders will typically last until your divorce is over.

Temporary orders in a divorce which involved children can include any orders that are necessary to promote the safety and well-being of your child. Otherwise, temporary orders involving children most typically relate to temporary conservatorship, child support, health insurance, and possession. When it comes to the property in your divorce temporary orders can also determine how property is to be used temporarily, how debts are to be allocated during the case and whether spousal support and attorney’s fees need to be paid. These are essential pieces of information that you need to be very specific about when you ask a court for these items to be paid.

Closing thoughts on attorney’s fees in Texas divorce cases

If you want to give yourself the best possible chance to have your attorney’s fees paid for by your spouse in a divorce, then you need to be prepared. Having an organized budget that can show what your income is versus what your other responsibilities are is extremely important. The better organized and more detailed you can be the better chances you will have to have a judge order attorney’s fee to be paid on either an interim or final basis after your divorce case. Also, if your spouse has an attorney, it would be in your best interest for you to consider hiring one as well. An attorney will not make decisions for you and your case but will help guide you and provide you with context to assist you with making wise decisions based on the law as well as the circumstances of your case.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to look at the circumstances of your case and how the family law of Texas may impact those circumstances.